Wow...

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by Hobhood, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. Hobhood

    Hobhood

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    Hi all, just joined this forum.

    I'm afraid I'm a typical vinyl returnee. After ignoring it for nearly 30 years I've gone out and got a rega 2 with rega bias cartridge. My old TT was a Pioneer pl512 - the bottom of the range in 1980 with an Ortofon carttridge which I upgraded about one level higher than the one fitted. Can't remember model numbers though.

    Now memory can play tricks, but I am sure that the amount of speed variation - 'wow' - that I am experiencing on my rega was not present in the 1980s. The rega itself seems fine - about 50% of LPs sound OK but 50% don't, which is a high number. Was there something about older decks - arm design, tracking weight - which made them more tolerant of warped, wobbly or off centre records? The Pioneer seemed to negotiate warps etc with ease. Hardly anything sounded bad.

    Any thoughts?
     
    Hobhood, Apr 27, 2018
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  2. Hobhood

    Colz

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    Hi there,
    What sounds wrong with the 50% that don't seem fine? Are you using a record clamp on the rega?
    All the best
    Colz
     
    Colz, May 2, 2018
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  3. Hobhood

    oldburyj

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    I have a TT built by a guy, who uses a lot of Rega parts. he recently upgraded it for me with a neo power and speed box. he uses a clamp and it has made a huge difference.
     
    oldburyj, May 2, 2018
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  4. Hobhood

    Hobhood

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    The problem is 'wow', as in 'wow and flutter' - pitch variations. Yes I use a clamp, and I've just become aware of the possibility of lots of Rega upgrades. I don't think there's anything majorly wrong with the TT though...it isn't high end and you get what you pay for. I've ordered a better belt ('Little Belter') to diminish possible speed variations - but how audible is the variation between say 33.3 and 33.7 anyway?

    I think the problem is the vinyl - too many discs with off centre holes etc. My main question was about why an old deck seemed to be better at dealing with these problems than my new one, and if there were any issues of design in old TTS which contributed to making off centre discs and warped and wobbly vinyl less troublesome.
     
    Hobhood, May 3, 2018
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  5. Hobhood

    Jeff Lee

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    Hi Hobhood

    OK here goes but you probably know this already.
    1 The Rega 2 is a very decent turntable and should not create any audible wow unless it is faulty in some way. You should not have to buy any extra gizmos to make it rotate at a constant speed.

    2 Have you checked the basic turntable speeds with a stroboscope? Doesn't have to be spot on 33.3 rpm but it should be absolutely constant.

    3 Make sure it is on an absolutely level and stable surface. Otherwise you can have problems.

    4 In all my many years of buying vinyl I only had one LP with an off-centre hole. It's almost unheard of but if it does happen you can always ream out the hole a little so that the grooves are not sending the arm left and right when playing (that will definitely give you wow once it gets beyond a couple of millimetres).

    5 Playing weight. Check with the instructions for the cartridge and adjust if necessary. Slightly too heavy is better than too light: if too light, the record will tend to throw the stylus momentarily out of contact with the groove and that can create a hiccup sound.

    6 If you have not played your vinyl collection for 30 years and not stored it properly, it will probably have changed shape. Any problems with brand new LPs?

    Jeff
     
    Jeff Lee, May 7, 2018
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  6. Hobhood

    Hobhood

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    Thanks Jeff

    The deck is hard to get balanced on my uneven floor, but I have a center hole bubble level and I can get it within about 1mm of perfect level. The stand could be more stable, but it is not prone to nearby vibrations. With a stoboscope - do I need some kind of special light to see the results?
     
    Hobhood, May 8, 2018
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  7. Hobhood

    Jeff Lee

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    You must get a stable and rigid stand. I used a wall-mounted Target stand for many years with a Linn LP12 and that was ideal. If you have good solid walls I'd recommend that over any floor- standing kit. I still have the Target but don't use it.b My LP12 now lives on an Apollo rack system, stacked with a ton of kit including Boulder amplifiers, and if I'm a bit clumsy it still picks up my footsteps as I walk away from it - and I get a bit of wow! But it settles down quickly after a few seconds.

    T'table stroboscopes are designed to show up under a traditional light bulb running on either 50 or 60 Hz (50 in the UK, 60 in US). There are numerous apps you could try instead - Turnabulator is one such. Try it! But a strobe shows regular rotation, not wow or flutter - it's an overall speed checker.

    Jeff
     
    Jeff Lee, May 8, 2018
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  8. Hobhood

    Jeff Lee

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    Hi Hobhood

    Following my own advice I just downloaded an app called RPM Calculator and you can see it working in this Youtube demo clip. By the way, the advantage of this app rather than the physical strobe disc is that it will actually show you any wow or flutter. By my reckoning any decent turntable should not show more than 0.1 variation. It works very well and showed me that my ancient Garrard 301 (bought in 1962) can maintain an exact 33.3 rpm speed with NO wow or flutter. So does my Linn LP12 though at present it is running slightly fast (33.4), but again no wow/flutter.

    There's all sorts of stuff about turntable wow and flutter on the net and some of it is really geeky. Here's one interesting exchange though: http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/audible-wow-flutter-new-belt-drive-turntable.152905/

    Reminds me about checking under the hood on your turntable to make sure there are no odd bits of crud (plastic, packing pare, whatever) on the drive belt or surfaces. I missed this once on an older turntable! Could be the problem, if you had to assemble the unit yourself (i.e. install drive belt, remove transit materials, install platter etc.) AND why not give Rega a ring if the problem continues? Any decent company like them will have a good service dept. By the way: you said Rega 2: do you mean Rega PLANAR 2? Bought new or used?

    I didn't mention arm length because I assume your arm is at least 9 inches and has the necessary offset and overhang design used for all other than rubbish cheapo DJ style t'tables.

    Cheers.
     
    Jeff Lee, May 9, 2018
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  9. Hobhood

    Jeff Lee

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    Sorry - here is the Youtube clip link for the RPM Calculator. NB the classic traditional disc stroboscope is considered to be slightly more accurate, but there you go...
     
    Jeff Lee, May 14, 2018
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  10. Hobhood

    Jeff Lee

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    AND I forgot to enclose the link itself... Doh... Here it is:



    Jeff
     
    Jeff Lee, May 14, 2018
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  11. Hobhood

    Jeff Lee

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    Hi Hobhood

    Any progress? Only trying to help... Especially I would get hold of a couple of new LPs from a reputable label such as K D Lang on Nonsuch, Diana Krall on Verve, or Michael Hedges on Audio Fidelity. (Avoid copy labels such as Waxtime or Back to Black for now, though they have their good points).

    Jeff
     
    Jeff Lee, May 17, 2018
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